Blackheads are small pesk clusters of black dots clogging your pores. The dark material that makes up a blackhead isn’t dirt but a mixture of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. Exposure to air is what causes them to oxidize and darken in color.
You’ve probably experienced blackheads on your face, nose, or chin at one time or another. Did you know you can get blackheads inside your ears too? Although Bioré products are designed for powerful blackhead removal and prevention on your face, we didn’t want to leave your ears out in the cold! Use this article to figure out what’s causing blackheads in your ears and how to get rid of them.
What Causes Blackheads in Your Ears?
Blackheads are non-inflammatory acne lesions caused by dead skin cells and oil that get trapped inside your pores. Ears are surprisingly vulnerable to developing blackheads because the skin inside the ear canal is covered with hundreds of tiny hair follicles and glands that produce oil and earwax. If these glands produce too much oil, your skin breaks out and you’re stuck with unsightly acne and blackheads. The shape of your ears is also prone to allowing bacteria and oil to build up, which can cause blackheads.
Ears are surprisingly vulnerable to developing blackheads because the skin inside the ear canal is covered with hundreds of tiny hair follicles and glands that produce oil and earwax.
Here are a some things could be inviting these annoying imperfections into your ears:
- Residual Earwax and Grime on Your Earbuds or Headphones
- Dirt and Bacteria on Your Pillowcase
- Oil and Bacteria from Your Cell Phone
- Touching Your Ears
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Ear blackheads happen, but don’t worry, you can kick them to the curb with this easy step-by-step guide:
- Find a cleanser with Salicylic Acid. This acne-fighting ingredient acts as an exfoliant to dissolve excess oil and dead skin cells on your skin. Salicylic acid penetrates deep into pores and deep-cleans, and you can find it in cleansers, toners, and more.
- Use a cotton ball to carefully clean the skin on your ears. Take a clean cotton ball and saturate it with your salicylic acid cleanser. Gently rub your ears with the cotton ball, focusing on the area with blackheads. To keep the cleanser from dripping, tilt your ear to the side being careful not to let the solution enter your inner ear. Let it soak for about 10 seconds (or follow the instructions on the package).
- Thoroughly rinse off the cleanser with a clean cotton ball. The skin on your ears is sensitive. So, you might need to take time to build up a tolerance to salicylic cleanser. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after each application. To gently remove the cleanser, take a second clean cotton ball, saturate it with warm water, and rinse your ear to neutralize the cleanser.
- Cleanse your skin daily. For best results, repeat these steps once or twice daily. After about a week, you may start to notice a reduction in the size and number of blackheads in your ears.
Use a deep-cleaning clay mask
Try a facial cleanser
Apply witch hazel toner
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“For ear blackheads, look for a witch hazel toner to cleanse and disinfect the skin around your ears. Witch hazel is a common ingredient in cleansers, toners, and even pore strips due to its powerful disinfecting properties!”
Professional Treatments for Ear Blackhead Removal
For severe cases of blackheads in your ears, it may be time to call in the professionals. An extraction procedure is relatively simple and non-invasive. A dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon uses a blackhead extractor tool to remove the build-up trapped under your skin in your ear. This is a unique tool designed to remove toxins from the surface of your skin without causing significant damage.
How to Prevent Ear Blackheads
- Exfoliate regularly. It will be a little different from exfoliating your face as physical exfoliants like facial scrubs should not be used in your ears. Instead, take a dry washcloth and gently rub your outer ear to slough off dead skin cells and prevent blackheads.
- Wash your ears daily with a clean, warm washcloth and mild salicylic cleanser.
- If you have long hair and don’t wash it every day, use a dry shampoo to keep oils from transferring into the ears.
- Keep unwashed hair tied back to prevent excess oil from getting into your ears.
- Stop touching your ears throughout the day to avoid triggering a breakout.
- Wash anything and everything that touches your ears, like earbuds, cell phones, fingers, pillowcases, etc. Oil and earwax cling to objects like earbuds, so clean them off at least once a week and avoid wearing them for long periods of time.
- Wash your pillowcase at least once a week to avoid a build-up of bacteria and impurities. These nasties can transfer back onto your skin overnight and cause irritation and acne.
- Only use lotions and sunscreens that are specially formulated not to clog pores.
- Don’t pick at or squeeze the blackheads in your ears, this can lead to inflammation, bleeding, infection, and scarring.
- Don’t apply acne products more than recommended, this can overdry your skin, lead to an overproduction of oil, and may actually make your acne and blackheads worse.
- When applying sunscreen or lotion to your ears, use noncomedogenic products. These types of products are specially formulated to avoid clogging pores
- Blackheads are annoying, but you don’t have to live with them!
- Clean ears once or twice daily with salicylic acid to loosen clogged pores. Using witch hazel or glycolic acid toners can help remove dead skin buildup.
- Sanitize anything that touches your ears like earbuds, pillowcases and cell phone every few days to avoid a build-up of bacteria, oils, grit, and grime.
- Say ‘no!’ to picking and popping blackheads in your ears, which can lead to inflammation, bleeding, infection and scarring.
- If you have severe blackheads in your ears, talk to your dermatologist about prescription medication or professional extractions.